Bad Moms movie full length review - Surprisingly Raunchy and Completely Hilarious, Bad Moms is Carried by the Chemistry of it's 3 Lead Actresses
I was really surprised where they put Bad Moms on the summer schedule. Going up against Jason Bourne was pretty ballsy let alone movies like Star Trek: Beyond or Ghostbusters. But the phrase "counter programming" comes to mind.
Putting in a smaller movie with potential beside a juggernaut is slowly becoming more and more successful. The one that I remember first was Kingsman: The Secret Service being released against Fifty Shades of Grey and Kingsman performed really well despite all the attention that Fifty Shades got. It seems like the same strategy worked for Bad Moms, providing that alternative option for people who weren't interested in Bourne. After being disappointed with Ghostbusters, I'm really glad I got to see this, I laughed a lot and was impressed with what Bad Moms was able to do.
*Minor Spoilers Ahead* Amy (Mila Kunis) is a mom that has to do everything. Her two kids Jane and Dylan are completely dependent on her. She shuttles them to school, does their homework for them, and takes them to all their extra curricular activities. On top of this she works a part time job which is actually a full time job because her boss Dale (Clark Duke) completely takes advantage of her. Lastly, her deadbeat husband Mike (David Walton) is having an affair online and she kicks him out. She's completely under-appreciated and she also has to deal with the judgmental head of the PTA Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) and her cronies Stacy (Jada Pinkett Smith), and Vicky (Annie Mumolo).
On the particular day we join her, she has a really terrible day and after they call an emergency PTA meeting where they go through what they can't put in items for the bake sale (trust me the list is just ridiculous). Amy decides to quit after being called out for being late to the meeting. She heads to a bar and bumps into Carla (Kathryn Hahn). Carla is the mom that no one wants to associate with, she ignores her kid and tries to bang the husbands of the other moms. Another mom shows up named Kiki (Kristen Bell) who followed Amy there. Kiki is the mom with 4 kids who doesn't have any time to herself and was inspired by Amy's speech. They drink together and bond over the difficulties of being a mom today. They decide to be bad moms and after a drunken trip to the grocery store, they resolve to try things a little differently going forward.
Going into this movie if you see the trailers, it's not exactly the movie that gets advertised. It looks like something similar to The Hangover or 21 and Over (which Jon Lucas and Scott Moore also wrote and directed) and while the movie is pretty raunchy, I was surprised how much development went into Amy's character. There's more than a few scenes where you see Amy bonding with her kids and trying to do the right thing and it actually works pretty well. She's a good character, you're with her when she finally gets so sick of trying to keep up with these unrealistic goals and she never goes too far when she tries to teach her kids to be self-reliant. It can be hard for movies to strike that balance between dirty comedy and proper character development (Unfinished Business missed on it completely) but Bad Moms did a decent job with it.
Getting into the actually comedy, there were so many laugh out loud moments. The language in it is pretty bad and they aren't afraid to say whatever they want or make fun of whatever they want. The upside is that for the majority of it, it mostly works. Does everything work 100%? No, you can tell there was a fair amount of ad libbing and not everything is the gold standard. I would say probably around 75% of the jokes made me laugh and for something that could have easily been a throwaway, for me it was more than enough.
The real strength of Bad Moms is how well Mila, Kathryn and Kristen work together and they all give great performances. This is the best job I've seen Mila do in a comedy in a while. She has the chops to do the dramatic stuff too and although she initially seemed like odd casting, she was great. Kathryn Hahn finally found the right movie to showcase herself, she's the mouthiest and the loudest of the moms but she steals most scenes she's in. Kristen Bell played her role pitch perfect. I've talked about before how versatile she is, she probably could have played Mila's role but she hits the right notes and rounds out the main 3 well. Christina Applegate was also good as Gwendolyn, the movie gives her some humanity at the end which was a nice touch.
I did have small problems with this movie. The whole subplot with Amy running to be the PTA president was a little corny and they make her husband Mike just such a loser it wasn't really believable. In the end though, this was a pretty solid comedy and it delivered on almost all fronts. I don't think a lot was expected from Bad Moms and I would congratulate the team behind it for delivering an impressive low-brow comedy for women that men can enjoy as well.